A Jewish couple in Gothenburg, Sweden, wishes to homeschool their eleven children, but the government has been suing to prevent it.
Alexander and Leah Namdar claim the lack of Jewish schools prompted their decision, as well as fears for their children’s safety as the country has seen an increase in anti-Semitism of late.
First, the couple’s local municipality forbade them from teaching their children at home; they followed this up by filing a lawsuit against the Namdars “requiring them to send their young children to the local public school.”
Aided by Jews from around the world, The Namdars appealed the court decision. Public pressure helped and they won the case at the Appeal Court. But the city continued to mount pressure and submitted another lawsuit which was also rejected.
Last week, on International Holocaust Memorial Day, the parents faced another trial in which judges were to address whether the state education law permits the homeschooling of children for religious reasons, or whether Jewish parents will be forced to send their children to public schools.
The Namdar couple claims that the municipality’s motives are anti-Semitic and are the result of a documentary about them which was aired on Swedish television. The couple emphasizes that “our children receive proper education as well or better than any other Swedish child.”
The General Director of the European Jewish Association, Rabbi Menachem Margolin, has appealed to Sweden to cease all legal activitiy against the Namdars.